Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guest Post: Bend in the Road, Part 1

I found this sermon while surfing and wrote Pastor Boerger for permission to share this message that he preached May 27, 2007. Pastor Boerger's wife Vonda had breast cancer 7 years earlier and she had just received the devastating diagnosis of the cancer returning as non treatable bone cancer. Pastor Boerger is the pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Texas.

BEND IN THE ROAD 2 Corinthians 12:7-11

Gordon McDonald has written a book, “The Life God Blesses” - he writes about the things that God brings into one’s life in order to bless them. In one chapter he writes about a tool called a “disruptive moment” - unanticipated events that we usually dislike because they are associated with pain and humiliation - like “bends in the road” which we cannot see beyond.

A young man named David wrote about his disruptive moment in college - that the “football was my god - and one day in a championship game I was hit so hard they had to carry me off the field on a stretcher. And the first thing I heard when I came to was the crowd cheering for another runner. My god was in another man’s hands and the crowd was off to another hero. My whole life changed”

You might have heard that Vonda and I have had a disruptive moment. It was more than a bump in the road - it was a crater. A week and half ago we found that Vonda’s cancer had returned to a full blown non treatable bone cancer. Since then we know that it had not yet reached vital organs - but is quite serious.

In this time we have both been drawn back to wonderful scriptures like the text for this morning, 2 Cor. 12:7-10.

Dr. David Jeremiah (with “Turning Point” [and author of a Bend in the Road]) - also preached on this text following his time of cancer surgery. The outline in your bulletin comes directly from that sermon. When you hit a bump in the road you have to talk about it. I hope I can be of encouragement to you as a congregation even as you are to me. I’ve learned things I probably wouldn’t have learned had it not for the “bend in the road”.

The text from “The Message” [2 Cor 12:7-10] translation of the Bible (by Eugene Peterson)
Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, “My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size - abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.


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